Aesop's Fables printed by Plantin Press


Christophe Plantin was a French publisher who lived in Paris and Antwerp during the mid to late 1500s. He founded the Plantin Press, one of the largest publishing houses in Europe at the time. At peak production during the late 1560s/early 1570s, his publishing house had sixteen presses, thirty-two printers, twenty compositors, three proofreaders and various servants. His most famous work and largest production, funded by King Philip II, was a polyglot Bible, written in five different languages: Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Syriac and Aramaic. Overall, his press published around 2,450 titles and, with the completion of a new book, they would print around 1,000 to 1,250 copies. 

This 1574 edition of Aesop’s Fables was a part of those thousands of publications. It is printed in Latin and Greek, in side-by-side panels. Half of the page is in Greek and the other half is in Latin and it follows that format for all the stories, but the index is solely in Latin. This formatting implies that it was a textbook used to study Greek. The size and scale of the book is quite small, an example of the wide variety of books published by the Plantin Press. It has been rebound, probably in the 19th century, in green-stained vellum with contrasting red tinted text edges. The binding has also been stamped with gold leaf in an elaborate design on the spine and a coat of arms on each cover. The person who had it rebound likely treasured this small specimen from the famous Plantin Press.

--Guest Curator, Naidi Valverde-Romero, 2021-2022 OhioLINK Luminaries Student


Author/Photographer Aesop
Publisher Antwerp: Ex officina Christiphori Plantini
Date 1574
Institution Kent State University
Repository Special Collections and Archives
LC Classification Number PA3851 .A2 1574
Portion Digitized Title page, binding
Access Rights This digital object is owned by Kent State University and may be protected by U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, USC). Please include proper citation and credit for use of this item. Use in publications or productions is prohibited without written permission from Kent State University. Please contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives for more information.
Duplication Policy
DPLA Rights Statement
Format of Original book


Curated by Kathleen Siebert Medicus with guest contributors